While the Eastern conference went wild at the trade deadline, the West stood mostly pat. The Golden State Warriors, perched atop the standings, aren’t too worried about the lowly Phoenix Suns, but they’ve still got to handle their business.
Be sure to check out the excellent post-trade deadline summary that Brady Klopfer put together for us; if you missed any of the happenings from yesterday’s wild events, it’s a perfect way to catch back up to the new-look league.
WHO: Golden State Warriors (38 - 15) at Phoenix Suns (11 - 35)
WHEN: Friday February 8th, 2019; 7 pm
WHERE: Talking Stick Arena — Phoenix, AZ
LISTEN: 95.7 the game
BLOG BUDDY: Bright Side of the Sun
A true contrast
You can’t get much different than these two franchises. When the Phoenix Suns open their doors to the Warriors, it will be not just the top seed facing the worst team in the conference but a true contrast in franchise status and direction.
If Joe Lacob is light years beyond the pack, then Robert Sarver, the owner of the Suns, is dragging up the rear, pulling a busted handcart through the dust. Through years of penny-pinching and mismanagement, Sarver has sucked the the life out of the franchise like a grape turned to a raisin in the Arizona heat.
Phoenix has lost 12 games in a row, their last win coming back in early January. This will be the third meeting this season between these two teams — the Warriors won both games by at least 20 points. On top of all that (as if it wasn’t enough already), Phoenix has a few of their best players potentially out for this game — Tyler Johnson, Wayne Ellington and Devin Booker are all listed as questionable.
Can we please live in the damn moment?
The Warriors have won 12 of their last 14 games. Demarcus Cousins has looked every bit the menacing presence that everyone hoped or feared he would become here (depending on what side of the equation you come down on). And Klay Thompson and Shaun Livingston have both stepped their games up.
This is a team chasing history — yet again — and we just watched the Eastern Conference get significantly stronger. Rather than fret about who is going to end up where next season, let’s all try and appreciate how amazing this roster is. There’s no way this roster is coming back intact next season, and yet it seems like 80% of the media coverage is directing the microphones into the future.
Here’s coach Steve Kerr on KNBR on Thursday, as transcribed by CSNBA:
“Instead of the focus being on the Warriors playing for a third straight title, all the focus seems to be on where everybody’s gonna be playing next year,” Kerr said. ”And look, that’s part of the deal -- especially if you sign a 1-year deal and you’re a superstar and you’re gonna be a free agent -- those questions are gonna come.”
The Suns are going to get absolutely demolished by the juggernaut Warriors tonight, let’s enjoy that.
If you are looking for fun matchups to watch
Check out Suns’ promising young big, Deandre Ayton, who’s averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds on the season. While he will get outmuscled by Cousins, his speed and athleticism will grant certain advantages, if the young player can capitalize on them. Secondly, keep an eye on sophmore Josh Jackson, who has scored at least 25 points in each of his last three games. He’s no Kevin Durant, but these guys all watch each other so I’m sure Jackson has circled this day on the calendar and will be trying to showcase his game against one of the game’s top players.
Klay Thompson will get a dunk, and Demarcus Cousins will get fouled a lot.
Warriors, by a mile.